The effects of sexually explicit material on children and young people

Massey, K. (2015) The effects of sexually explicit material on children and young people. In: Sexual Violence Conference, 17th-18th September, 2015, Middlesex University. (Unpublished)

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In 2013 the Office of the Children’s Commissioner in England sanctioned a literature review into the effects of pornography on children and young people (Horvath, et al 2013). Since that time, interest in this area has grown and a great deal of literature has been published, laws have been changed and public concern has increased. This paper aims to recap the findings of the literature review and to provide an update of more recent studies carried out in the UK. The literature shows links between viewing pornography and sexually explicit material and young people’s attitudes and behaviours. The literature suggests that youth culture is affected by sexual imagery (Anderson, Shibuya, Ihori, et al, 2010; Löfgren-Martenson & Mansson, 2010; Peter & Valkenburg, 2007) and that this influences children and young people’s attitudes and behaviours (Anderson & Bushman, 2001). The impact is contingent on the young person’s support network (L’Engle, Brown & Kenneavy, 2004), social learning (Hunter, Figueredo & Malamuth, 2010) and other demographic factors, not least gender which has been consistently found to be significant in the effect of sexualised media (e.g. Stermer & Burkley, 2012). Recent studies have found changes in sexual practices of young people which the young people themselves attribute to viewing pornography such as an increase in anal sex and casual attitudes to consent (Marston & Lewis, 2014). Links between porn use and sexual coercion have also been found (Wright, et al 2014). How and in what ways children and young people are affected by such imagery - and what can be done to reduce the negative impact on young people - is debated.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0692 Psychology of sex. Sexual behaviour
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV6001 Criminology > HV6251 Crimes and offences > HV6569 Sex crimes
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0087 Communication. Mass media
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing
Depositing User: Ms Kristina Massey
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 14:39
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 14:39

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00